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Why Is It Best to Work With an Independent Insurance Broker

Taking care of insurance is a necessary part of adult life, but finding the best deal can be a challenge. With so many options available, it may feel overwhelming to understand what you need. Working with an independent insurance broker is the best way to make the process easier and more cost-effective.

Lake Region Insurance Agency is proud to have independent agents to meet your insurance needs. We offer free reviews of the coverage you have and can help you fill in the gaps without confusion. Stop in at any of our Greater Minnesota insurance offices to get started.

What Is An Independent Insurance Broker?

As the name suggests, an independent agent works independently of a brand or company. So, rather than only selling policies from Allstate, for example, they have many different options to offer clients. This independence means they have access to a vast number of plans and are not bound to one company.

An independent broker can represent several insurance firms. This variety also allows them to provide services in a vast range of areas, from auto insurance to commercial policies and everything in between.

Advantages of An Independent Insurance Agent

Choosing an insurance agent without ties to one company provides many benefits:

1. You have many more options available.    

Many insurance companies specialize in a particular product or service, such as health insurance or auto insurance. This expertise means they have a strong knowledge of that niche but are unable to offer assistance on anything outside their specialty. 

An independent insurance agent has training in dozens of different products. This range gives them extensive knowledge and experience. Their customers can access a wide variety of products without having to go from brand to brand. 

Brokers have contacts and connections across the insurance industry. This choice means that you will have the chance to pick from a far more extensive range of products than if you remain with a particular company.

As well as accessing multiple insurance products in one place, independent brokers work with your best interest in mind. They do not have to worry about quotas and meeting the company’s demands to sell certain products. Instead, they can focus on getting the perfect policy or policies for what you need.

2. You will save time.

An independent insurance broker does the time-consuming work for you. They can swiftly search available plans that match your requirements. Their expertise makes quick work of a job that might take you hours and hours of online searching. Your time is highly valuable. Let an independent agent handle this task for you.

3. There is no extra charge for their expert help.

Some people have a mistaken idea that they have to pay the broker for their work. Independent insurance agents receive compensation from the companies, not from you. You do not have to pay extra for their service.

4. You can receive specialized insurance.

Some insurance needs fall into a niche. Areas such as critical illness protection or cyber liability insurance can be personal, lengthy, and complicated. In these areas, you may need to have coverage tailored to your exact needs. This level of detail can be hard to access when you are researching by yourself or using comparison tools. A broker will help.

A broker’s help is also great when you need to insure a high-value item, such as a piece of artwork or an antique. Experts in the industry will be able to help you purchase appropriate coverage with sufficient protection.

5. You will receive the best coverage for your needs.

Corporate insurance firms need you to purchase their policy. That is their business model. This plan means that they may not necessarily seek out a product that meets all your needs. The company’s sales goals generally come first, and this can be detrimental to customers.

An independent broker, however, has no such loyalties. They are not tied to any brand or company. Every quote or suggestion is in response to what you need, ensuring relevant policy results. You can analyze their proposals with trust and peace of mind. They take the time to learn about you and your situation to find the right fit.

6. You can save money.

The benefit of using an independent insurance broker is that they can see the big picture. They have access to a significant number of deals, policies, and offers, allowing them to find the best rates. 

Independent agents also can be sure they are comparing apples to apples as they help you shop for policies. They will make sure that property, liability limits and deductibles match up before showing you the different rates. Since they spend time getting to know what you need, they can find just the right policy at a competitive price. 

7. Get help with claims.

Using a broker to buy your insurance policy also helps to speed up the process if you need to make a claim. With just one call to your independent agent, the process will be underway. 

Filing a claim infers that you are already in a stressful situation. Your experienced broker can help relieve some of that worry. From navigating the initial report to submitting paperwork for settlement, an independent insurance broker can help you the whole way.

The Next Steps

If you are ready to shop for a new insurance policy, take advantage of the skills of a broker. Here at Lake Region Insurance Agency, we provide advice and assistance on a range of insurance types:

  • Auto
  • Home
  • Commercial
  • Life
  • Health

We have offices to serve you in New London, Willmar, and Cokato, MN. Our qualified team of experts is on hand to help you with all your insurance needs. Our neighbors and friends rely on us to provide excellent service, and it’s an honor to do just that.

Get in touch today for a free quote to see how we can streamline your insurance search. It doesn’t have to be stressful. We can take care of all the hard work for you and offer the most competitive rates. We’d love to get to know you. 

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Does My Car Insurance Cover Me In a Rental?

Ahhhh, vacation! You step off the plane, stretch your legs, and get ready for the fun to begin. But first, you have to get your rental car. And when you do, they’ll inevitably ask if you want car insurance for the rental.

If you’re not ready for the question, and your brain is already in vacation mode, you might not know what to say. Do you purchase unnecessary additional insurance and potentially waste valuable money? Or do you decline and risk not having coverage, hoping there’s no damage to the car? 

Avoid that uncertainty and potential extra cost. Be ready to get straight to the fun on your next holiday by contacting Lake Region Insurance Agency. We are the independent agent you need for all of your Minnesota insurance needs. We can make sure you’re covered for every step of your vacation, as well as your daily life.

Should I Pay for Rental Car Insurance from the Rental Agency?

Here’s the thing that rental companies would rather you not know: most car insurance companies cover their drivers when they are in rental cars.

Female Motorist Involved In Car Accident Calling Insurance Company Or Recovery Service

But that doesn’t mean you always have coverage in these situations, so you need to do a little research. Some details will help you decide what to do, including your current level of car insurance coverage and which credit card you use to pay for the rental car. Some credit cards offer coverage when you rent a vehicle. These pieces of information are important to know before you go to the rental agency.

Different Types of Rental Car Insurance

Before you decide whether or not to purchase rental car coverage, you should understand the different types of car insurance. Policies are not all interchangeable, so it’s essential to know what coverage you already have.

Here are some of the typical kinds of car insurance you will see:

  • Liability Protection – This is the most common form of insurance because most states require that every registered car has at least this level of protection. Liability coverage can include both bodily injury and property damage liability. It helps to cover medical or legal costs if you injure another person or damage their property while driving. Sometimes this is called Supplemental Liability Protection by rental car companies because it supplements the coverage you already have with your personal auto insurance.
  • Comprehensive and Collision Damage – This coverage kicks in if there is damage to another vehicle or a stationary object when your car is in an accident. It may also include theft and vandalism. With personal car insurance, this is optional when you own your car outright, so you may or may not have it already.
  • Personal Protection – This coverage may also be called Personal Injury Protection (PIP). It covers medical costs incurred by the driver or passenger due to a car accident. Generally, this coverage is already included if you selected liability in MN, under a personal auto policy.
  • Personal Effects Coverage – This type of insurance will cover reimbursement if any of the renter’s items are stolen out of the vehicle. Many people find this coverage unnecessary because most homeowners insurance and renters insurance policies cover items stolen from a car. But again, check these details ahead of time so that you know what you want to do.

Before You Purchase Rental Car Coverage

When you need to decide if you should purchase additional rental car coverage, find out the following information. It will allow you to make the best decision for your specific situation. For each question, contact your insurance agent to verify coverage.

Do you have full coverage already?

If your personal auto policy includes both comprehensive and collision coverage, then you likely have rental protection for a variety of situations such as:

  • Vandalism
  • Theft of vehicle
  • Damaged windshield
  • Fire
  • Damage from hail or lightning
  • Collision with an animal
  • Damage from hitting another vehicle or a fixed object like a pole or a tree

Be sure to check with your agent. Even if you have full coverage on your personal car, it might not extend to rental vehicles. If this is true for you, consider purchasing the rental car company’s Collision Damage or Loss insurance.

Do you have liability coverage? How much?

If your auto policy includes liability insurance, which it must in most states, you’ll want to know its limits. This coverage kicks in to pay for the other driver’s injuries if you are at fault in an accident.

If you only carry the minimum amount of coverage required by the state, you might want to consider increasing it. Or you could purchase the supplemental liability insurance from the rental car company.

Do you have renters or homeowners insurance?

If you’re concerned about theft of your personal belongings, you don’t necessarily need to purchase the rental car company’s Personal Effects insurance. Most people already have a homeowners or renters insurance policy. Both types of insurance cover items stolen from vehicles. As long as the item stolen would be covered in your home, it likely will have coverage in the rental car. But double-check with your insurance agent before you decide about the rental company’s policy.

Sometimes You Need the Rental Agency’s Coverage

It’s a wise choice to buy rental car insurance in some instances:

  • You don’t own a vehicle, so you don’t carry car insurance.
  • Your credit card doesn’t provide any rental car coverage in its perks.
  • Convenience is worth the cost.
  • Your car insurance has low coverage limits.
  • The additional expense is worth the peace of mind it brings to you.
  • You didn’t check coverage with your insurance company before traveling.

Learn More About Car Insurance

At Lake Region Insurance Agency, we are independent agents who are here to serve you. Because we can offer a wide range of products from many companies, we can find the right fit for your insurance needs. Whether you’re planning the trip of a lifetime or need some advice on day-to-day coverage, our team can help. Call or stop by our offices to learn more.

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5 Reasons You Need Life Insurance and How to Get It

Very few people want to think about life insurance. It’s uncomfortable to think about the circumstances that would lead to a loved one cashing in your life insurance policy. Despite the discomfort, however, the fact remains that life insurance is crucial. And ignoring it can be harmful to those you care about deeply.

Purchasing a life insurance policy gives you and your family tremendous peace of mind. And it helps you ensure that your loved ones do not have their lives turned upside down any more than necessary.

Not sure where to start? The staff at Lake Region Insurance Agency is here to help. We can work with you to navigate the process so that your family and assets have adequate protection.

Why Do I Need Life Insurance?

Spoiler alert: no one lives forever. Until science catches up with science fiction, we all will pass from this earth eventually. And since you can’t accurately predict when that will happen, you need to have a protective policy in place. Here are five key reasons you should purchase a life insurance policy.

1. You have dependents who rely on you.

Does anyone in your household depend upon your income? If so, life insurance is essential to provide for them in the event of your death. Responsibly planning for their needs is an act of love. A life insurance policy is critical if you have any of these dependents:

  • Children 
  • Spouse/Domestic Partner
  • Siblings
  • Parents
  • Disabled Relative 

Take into consideration anyone you’re responsible for who cannot support themselves if something happens to you.

A life insurance policy is particularly important if your spouse or partner is a stay-at-home parent. When one partner passes away, the bills don’t change. You want to ensure that your other half can handle the necessary expenses even with a tragic change of circumstances. 

It is also important to have a policy for the stay-at-home parent. If something were to happen to them, the surviving spouse suddenly might need to pay for new expenses. Daycare, housekeeping, or other services to keep the household running could become necessary.

Portrait of three siblings

An adequate policy can also make it possible for your children to attend college or have funds for a downpayment on a home. These things can still happen in your absence if you purchase a good life insurance policy.

2. You have a mortgage to pay.

If you and your family are living in a home with a mortgage, the house could be the first thing to go if you die. Death does not mean that your loved ones get a break from making the mortgage payments. 

A life insurance policy can give you confidence that your family can meet its obligations and stay in the home if they choose to do so. No one wants their family to have to handle the trauma and stress of losing their home, relocating, and managing property issues. Processing a death is stressful enough. 

A life insurance policy can require that the mortgage be paid off with the funds. Or it can merely provide enough cash for your loved ones to meet the monthly payments.

3. You need to cover funeral expenses.

Something that many people don’t realize is that death is quite expensive. The average cost of a funeral in America runs about $7000 to $12000. This amount is a considerable sum of money to need suddenly. 

Many life insurance policies will include funeral costs as part of the package, leaving one less thing for your family to worry about after your passing. 

4. You have debts or taxes to pay.

Death can also result in a heavy financial burden in the form of taxes for those left behind. These obligations automatically pass to your heirs and can have a significant impact on their inheritance. 

If you die with any consumer debt, such as car loans or credit card balances, your estate will be responsible for paying those. A life insurance policy can provide funds for your family to dispense with these debts.

Without life insurance, they may have to sell assets to cover the costs, and this leaves them at a disadvantage. A sufficient policy ensures that a chunk of money is there for them to cover any debts or taxes the estate may owe.

5. Your lifestyle makes you more vulnerable.

Insurance is a numbers game. And from taking a high-risk job to enjoying thrill-seeking sports, there are lifestyle choices that make death statistically more likely. 

If this sounds like you, it is the right choice to make sure your loved ones have protection when you’re gone. And if those life circumstances change, you can always adjust the policy to reflect a lower-risk lifestyle.

Take responsibility for your choices, career, and preferences by taking care of your family. Give them protection and peace of mind if the worst thing were to happen.

How Do I Get Life Insurance?

Since you now know that life insurance is the best way to go, there are a few other choices to make. The first decision is whether you would prefer a lifelong or term policy. A lifelong selection covers you until you die. The term option is for a specified amount of time, such as until your children are 25 years old. 

You will also need to determine the beneficiaries and any specifications you would like included, such as funeral costs. In addition, you’ll need to choose the value of the policy. Your Lake Region broker will be able to help with this decision.

Depending on your age and the value of the policy you want to purchase, you may need to have a medical assessment. Typically, this screening is minimal. It often involves having a nurse come to your house to take your vitals, ask some questions, and possibly do a blood draw.

Work with an Expert

Here at the Lake Region Insurance Agency, we have the tools you need to secure a comprehensive, personalized policy that is the perfect fit for your family. We offer options for our clients in Cokato, Willmar, and New London, MN, and beyond. Call or stop by any of our offices for a free Insurance review with one of our professionals.

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Stay Safe: Top 5 Winter Driving Tips

Snowy, wet, and icy road conditions are the leading causes of accidents during the winter. Traveling in these conditions can be nerve-wracking and stressful. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that more than 150,000 car accidents happen each year due to icy roads. Learning some winter driving tips can help you stay safe on the road.

Make sure you have the right coverage for your needs in your auto insurance policy. The team at Lake Region Insurance Agency can help you feel confident that you are well-covered.

Hit the Road With These Winter Driving Tips

Winter driving in Minnesota has its risks and concerns. But with awareness and education, you can feel ready to drive safely all year long. Take a look at these five tips.

1. Purchase Winter Tires 

There are a few different types of tires available for vehicles:

  • Summer
  • Winter
  • All-Season

Summer tires have smaller tread because the roads are generally clear and safe to drive on during the summertime. All-season tires have a thicker tread than summer tires and are suitable to use year-round in many parts of the country. 

Winter tires have the most substantial tread and provide the most traction for driving in dicey road conditions. Studded tires are a type of winter tire that has metal studs in the tread for traction on icy roads.

All-season tires have enough tread to provide an adequate grip on maintained roads. They are a safe choice if you live in an urban area where the streets are plowed regularly. 

However, on inconsistently-plowed roads, all-season tires are an unsafe option. For those who live in rural areas or small towns, winter tires are the safest choice. If you opt for studded tires, be sure to check the regulations where you live to know if and when they are legal to use.

2. Pay Attention to Windshield Wipers and Washer Fluid

Snow, ice, and road maintenance chemicals will be attacking your windshield all winter long. Not to mention the dirt, gravel, and grime that splatters up at your car as you drive. In these conditions, your visibility can disappear quickly.  

It is essential to check your windshield wipers at the beginning of the winter season. You want to ensure that they are working well and that the blades are in acceptable condition. Many Minnesota drivers replace their wiper blades each year when winter arrives.

How do you keep your windshield washer fluid from freezing? Making sure the washer fluid tank is full helps you avoid this problem. You can also choose a windshield washer fluid that is specifically for wintertime. Its formula helps prevent it from freezing.

And of course, parking your vehicle in the garage can keep fluids from freezing and help protect your car from the cold weather. Blankets placed over the hood of your vehicle can also help keep everything working correctly.

3. Have Tools for Ice and Snow Removal

Unless your garage is available for parking, winter driving in Minnesota means clearing off your car in the morning before heading to work. A combination snow brush and ice scraper is a great tool to keep in your vehicle. Having one on hand makes it easier to remove all the ice and snow from your car in the morning. 

First, you should brush the snow off all the surface areas of your car. Brush the hood, windows, and roof. Once you have cleaned much of the snow off your vehicle, you can use the ice scraper tool to remove any ice from the windows. 

It is crucial to remove the snow from your car before you start your commute. Snow left on the hood of the vehicle can blow onto the windshield, and snow from the roof can fall onto your windshield when you brake. Both of these problems limit your visibility. Take some extra time in the morning to be thorough when clearing your car.

4. Check Your Car Battery and Antifreeze

Spoiler alert – cars don’t love the cold. One way to ensure that your vehicle will get you from point A to point B all winter long is to check that your battery is in good working condition. If your battery is old, it may not make it through a Minnesota winter. 

According to AAA, your car battery loses up to 60 percent of its power as the temperature drops. Historically, car batteries have had a lifespan of about three to five years. But now, with the increasing usage of electronics in cars, the lifespan of a battery is shrinking. All that phone charging takes a toll on the strength of your battery. 

Antifreeze is vital when it comes to winter driving tips. It keeps the radiator’s water from boiling in the summer and freezing in the winter. If the antifreeze gets too low, it can cause the water in the cooling system to freeze. Once that happens, it can cause cracks in the pipes that will require costly repairs.

Be sure to check your antifreeze level regularly and top it off as needed. It is also critical to have your radiator flushed and cleaned according to your vehicle’s manufacturer recommendations.

5. Keep Up with Car Maintenance

Before hitting the road during the winter, double-check that your vehicle is up-to-date on all of its maintenance. With proper upkeep, your car will experience fewer problems and keep you safer when you’re driving in snow and ice. Keep up with regular oil changes, battery checks, and other routine services.

Common sense goes a long way in making sure you have a safe winter on the road. Keep plenty of gas in the tank, make sure your windows and headlights are clean, and keep fluids topped off.

Following these winter driving tips should help you have a safe season of commuting. The more thorough you prepare, the better.

Lake Region Insurance Agency Can Help

If you need a quote on auto insurance or aren’t sure if you have adequate coverage, reach out to our Lake Region team today. We will work through every detail with you for home, auto, health, and life insurance.

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How Do I Prevent Ice Dams on My Roof?

Homeowners in Minnesota, or anywhere with significant snow, have to deal with the maintenance that comes with winter weather. This work includes trying to prevent ice dams from forming. While the kids may squeal at the arrival of snowy days, adults aren’t always so thrilled.

With the snow and ice come the many tasks and chores to keep everything working smoothly. There is shoveling, de-icing, cleaning off cars and windshields, and ensuring your house is safe. Guarding your home includes preventing ice dams on your roof. They can be an unfortunate fact of life when you live in a winter wonderland.

At Lake Region Insurance Agency, we have your back and your roof. We want to ensure your house has coverage for our Minnesota winters. Contact us today to find out more about homeowners insurance for your property.

What Are Ice Dams?

An ice dam works a lot like a beaver dam…but colder. It is a build-up of ice at the edge of a roof that creates a pool of water.

Ice dams can create tremendous damage to your roof and home when left untreated, so homeowners in cold climates must remain vigilant.

These blockages form when accumulated snow warms up at the top of the roof due to heat from the attic. The snowmelt flows down the roof and refreezes when it gets to the colder spots of the roof, forming the dam.

As more and more snow falls and melts, the ice dam grows, pooling more water on your roof. It also gets quite heavy.

Why Are Ice Dams Dangerous?

closeup of ice dam on roof and gutters

The description of an ice dam makes it sound rather benign. In actuality, these blockages pose a significant threat to your home and its occupants.

Ice dams can become a physical hazard for your family. This massive collection of ice could come loose and fall, hurting someone underneath or damaging property. Ice dams can weigh hundreds of pounds, so they are not something you want landing on you.

Your roof and home also are at considerable risk as ice dams build. Water backs up behind the blockade and can back up under your shingles. This water accumulation causes damage to your roof, allowing more water to drain into your house, causing huge problems for you as the homeowner.

The weight of the ice dams also can compromise the integrity of your roof. The eaves of your roof do not have the strength to withstand that much sustained pressure.

How Do I Prevent Ice Dams?

Since it is clear how dangerous ice dams can be, homeowners wonder how to prevent them. Avoiding these blockages could save you thousands and thousands of dollars in damage. Thankfully, there are some ways to prevent  ice dams from forming in the first place.

Ventilation
If your home has proper ventilation in the attic, ice dams are less likely to form. When the cold air from outside the house can circulate through the attic, the temperature of the roof remains below freezing during cold weather. This low temperature prohibits the snow from melting and forming ice dams.

man installing screws into unfinished ceiling

To improve ventilation in your attic, ensure air can continuously flow under the entire roof, from the soffit to the peak. There will need to be a channel or open layer of a couple of inches between the insulation and exterior. You do not want insulation blocking the airflow.

Insulating and Sealing

Another method to prevent ice dams from forming is to utilize proper insulation in your attic and ceiling. If your home has an attic, make sure the ceiling has enough insulation. If you don’t have an attic, completely insulate the rafters.

Adequate insulation will keep the warm temperatures in your home and the cold temperatures outside. Your roof will remain below freezing, preventing ice dams from forming. And as a bonus, you will save money on your heating bills.

Another critical step is to ensure that you seal all gaps and airways between your living spaces and the attic. Check all areas around plumbing, wiring, and chimneys to make sure no warm air is escaping into your attic.

Elbow Grease
You may also prevent ice dams by using some good old-fashioned elbow grease. Pay attention to your roof once the snow starts falling so that you can remove small blockages before they grow. Some homeowners invest in a good roof rake with a long handle to tackle the snow as it’s building up.

push broom cleaning snow off of roof with gutters full of ice

Typically, you can work from the ground to remove snow from the lowest four feet of your roof. Carefully scraping off the accumulation should prevent ice dams from forming. Check with your roofer on the best way to use the rake without damaging any shingles.

What Do I Do Once an Ice Dam Forms?

Although there is a lot you can do to avoid these blockades, preventative measures do not guarantee ice dams won’t form. Sometimes storms make it difficult or unsafe to remove snow build-up, and suddenly you are facing an ice dam.

If you see one forming, you can do a few things yourself at home. If the dam isn’t too large, try sprinkling calcium chloride or another de-icer on it to help it shrink.

Some homeowners choose to chip away at the ice carefully. You should never climb onto your roof to do this, however. Reach what you can with a ladder, and keep in mind that you don’t have to remove the entire blockage. Instead, focus on creating a channel for melted snow to flow through. You will need to repeat this method several times for it to be effective.

When in doubt, call a professional. Frequently, ice dams grow to the point that it is not practical or safe for you to handle it on your own.

We Can Help Protect Your Home

For all homeowners insurance needs, Lake Region Insurance Agency is your go-to team. Reach out today to find out how we can protect you with homeowners, auto, life, and health insurance.

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Got a Speeding Ticket. What Happens to my Auto Insurance Now?

The flashing lights. The siren behind you. That anxious feeling in the pit of your stomach. You know you were speeding, and unfortunately, you got caught this time. As the police officer walks away from your car, you get that sinking feeling of anxiety. You think to yourself, “What will happen to my auto insurance now?”

No matter what the situation, people dread getting speeding tickets. Between the hassle of taking time to deal with it and the financial cost, speeding tickets are a huge burden.

At Lake Region Insurance Agency, we know you have questions about insurance. We offer our customers everything from auto to life insurance and can help with all those decisions. We’re happy to serve our New London, Willmar, and Cokato, MN neighbors.

Does a Ticket Increase Auto Insurance?

The short answer: probably. Speeding tickets become part of your driving record, just like parking violations and accidents.

Sometimes, you won’t see an increase with your first ticket. If you are generally a safe and responsible driver with minimal violations, your auto insurance rates may not go up much, if at all.

But being an overall safe driver doesn’t guarantee that a speeding ticket will go unnoticed.

Why Does Your Auto Insurance Increase?

No matter the type of insurance, your rate comes from the risk an insurance company takes in protecting you. If you are statistically a low-risk individual, that means the insurance company is not likely to have to pay out a large sum on your behalf.

So your auto insurance rates will remain low when you fit into the safe driver category. If the algorithms show that you are unlikely to get in an accident or need to make a claim, you get a lower price.

Your auto insurance company bases this risk on your prior driving behavior. Do you have several moving violations? Or have you had a few close together? The more tickets or accidents that you have on your record, the higher your premium will go.

close up if ink pen on auto insurance contract

Speeding is one of the most common causes of traffic tickets. It is also a reliable indicator that you will be the at-fault party in a traffic accident. Therefore, speeding tickets increase your car insurance.

Your auto insurance company will examine your driving history when you initially apply for coverage. They also periodically check your record as long as you have insurance with them. Traffic violations will likely increase your premium. And too many tickets could mean they drop your policy completely.

Factors that Affect this Increase

Getting a speeding ticket alone doesn’t result in a one-size-fits-all increase. Most insurance agencies have their criteria to determine how much, if any, the premium will increase.

Amount Over Limit
Some insurance companies will not increase your premiums unless you receive a ticket for going at least 15 miles per hour over the speed limit. This is not a guarantee, by any means, but a general rule of thumb for many underwriters.

Furthermore, different states have different regulations. Most states utilize a point system in which you receive points for various violations. The speed you were going can impact the number of points you receive.

There are ways to estimate your increase. This traffic ticket calculator reveals that speeding between 15 and 29 miles per hour will increase your insurance by an average of 12%.

Number of Violations
As previously mentioned, your first offense might not necessarily result in a premium increase. However, each additional ticket will likely incur a steeper punishment.

If your state utilizes the point system, the punishment gets worse, the more points you accumulate. This increased penalty certainly happens when someone receives multiple tickets in a short time since points generally drop from your record after a certain number of months.

How to Lessen the Increase

There are ways to keep your insurance premium low. Obviously, the most important thing is to be a safe driver. When you stay focused on the road, stay free from distractions, and drive within the speed limit, your rate should hold pretty steady.

If you do receive an increase, consider changing your coverage. Varying plans offer different levels of coverage with distinct premiums. Analyze how much coverage you need by speaking with your agent.

As a bonus, a safe driving or defensive driving course will often result in a lower premium. Did you know you can take a safe driving course even if you haven’t gotten a speeding ticket?

What to Do if You Get a Speeding Ticket?

burlap bag titled "traffic violation" surrounded by gold coins and gavel next to it under spyglass

Very few people will go their entire driving life without receiving a traffic citation. So, when you do find a ticket in your hand, there are a few things you could or should do.

Deal with the Ticket
Most of the time, you have three options:

  1. Pay the ticket.
  2. Contest the ticket.
  3. Seek mitigation.

If you pay the ticket as is, you admit your fault, pay the fine, and move on. Contesting the ticket involves going to court and trying to prove that you were not speeding. This rarely works. Mitigation means that you explain the circumstances and see if the court will offer a lower fine. For first-time offenders or those who haven’t had a ticket in years, this often works well.

Slow Down
Get your driving habits back under control. Receiving an additional ticket almost guarantees that your auto insurance premiums will go up.

Give yourself time to get where you’re going. Put your phone down and away from you, so you aren’t tempted to use it while driving and stay focused on the road.

Take a Defensive Driving Course
Sometimes courts allow mitigation of a ticket if you complete a defensive driving class. And many states will allow you to drop your citation from your record when you complete the course. There is usually a timeline, though, so finish the class as soon as you can so you don’t miss out on this opportunity.

Check Out Lake Region Insurance Agency

Whether you just got a speeding ticket, or you just want to check rates, give Lake Region Insurance Agency a call. Our team will work with you to make sure you have the coverage you need.